In his follow-up to his Oscar-nominated feature Spotlight, helmer Tom McCarthy is set to direct the first two episodes of Selena Gomez’s Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, from Anonymous Content and Paramount TV. McCarthy also will executive produce the 13-episode series, based on the 2007 New York Times bestselling YA book by Jay Asher.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey created and wrote the TV series adaptation, which follows a boy named Clay through an emotional night when he receives a shoe box of cassette tapes from his late classmate and crush Hannah, after she recently committed suicide. On the tapes, which are mailed with instructions to pass along from one student to another, Hannah explains to 12 peers how they each played a role in her death, by giving 13 reasons explaining why she took her life.
McCarthy and Gomez, who is currently not attached to act, executive produce alongside Yorkey and Anonymous Content’s Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar and Steve Golin, as well as Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin who, along with Gomez, originally found the book and brought it to Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation.
Golin, who was a producer on Spotlight, brought the project to McCarthy. Yorkey also has ties with McCarthy. The two have been developing a musical adaptation of The Visitor for Broadway, based on McCarthy’s feature about a widower who befriends a Syrian immigrant in post-9/11 New York City.
McCarthy’s most recent film Spotlight, which he co-wrote with Josh Singer, was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (for McCarthy and Singer). The film, which was released in the U.S. by Open Road Films, has been one of this awards season’s top contenders, winning for best original screenplay at the BAFTAs and best ensemble at the SAG Awards and receiving a number of critics groups’ best picture of the year honors.
McCarthy, who began his career as an actor, segued to filmmaking with his critically acclaimed first feature, 2003’s The Station Agent, which won the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival, BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and two Independent Spirit Awards.
He is repped by Gersh. Gomez is repped by WME and Lighthouse Management and Media.